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What is the Mary Kondo Method?

KonMari method has become a cultural phenomenon, encouraging people to stay organized. The trick is pretty simple: retain only those belongings around the house that "spark joy" or excite you. There is no use of keeping things around when they no longer bring you happiness. If you have any such belongings, then you should love them for being a part of your life and then give them away. 

The KonMari method includes two parts: discarding and organizing.

What exactly does it mean? 

Here is a summary of the method developed by Japanese expert, and the 5-steps guide we have created for you to help you get started.

Step 1: Discard by categories, not rooms

Kondo's theory explains that the more you can get rid of, the easier it is to organize everything. Discard by category (in order): first clothes, then books, paper, kimono (misc.), and finally mementoes. Kondo emphasizes that organizing by category can prevent confusion that arises when trying to declutter objects stored in different locations.

If necessary, divide the category into subcategories. For example, stack all clothes on the floor in subcategories: tops, bottoms, clothes that should be hung, socks, underwear, bags, accessories, specific event clothes, and shoes.

Step 2: Keep only things that spark joy

Pick things up one by one and then decide if it should stay. The word used for healing in Japanese is te-ate, meaning "to apply hands". As per the method, all the belongings that were pre-loved need to be disposed of once they stop exciting you. If something still lits up the joyful flame in you, then as Kondo says, you will definitely feel uplifted by its presence. 

If "spark of joy" is not for you, Marie Kondo also uses alternates: "inspire joy", “speak to your heart”, “thrill of pleasure”, "moves you", and “love.”

Step 3: After discarding, organize the space properly

After getting all the clothes that can inspire joy, it's time to fold and store them. Kondo’s technique emphasizes on folding technique. Clothes must not only "spark joy", but must be folded in a certain way. Kondo believes that folding should be the main storage method and each piece of clothing should be wrapped up into a flat rectangle shape, that can be placed vertically into a drawer.

Vertical storage technique prevents wrinkling of clothing. You can also easily view the entire contents of the drawer.

Step 4: Tidy all at once

In Japanese, the term is “Ikki ni”, meaning “in one go”. The ultimate secret of success is: if you complete the decluttering all at once, instead of cleaning step by step, you can fundamentally change the way of thinking. Kondo claims that decluttering all spaces in one go means you will never revert to old habits. She said that cleaning should be a "special event", not a daily routine.

Step 5: It’s not about storage

Kondo prefers the "simplicity" of storage. It contains such guidelines: similar items should be stored together, the storage area should not be dispersed and stacking should be avoided (any items).

Kondo mainly discourages the use of special storage methods and products, such as shelves and racks. She writes in her book that putting things aside gives people the illusion that the problem of clutter has been solved.

She wrote in the first book: "Storage experts are hoarders." Instead of buying large products or trying the latest organizational technology, better be honest with yourself and get rid of the mess first.

Marie Kondo believes that decluttering can change your life, it touches a mystical or spiritual component of life. The items you want to throw should be launched into the new journey of the farewell ceremony. 

The KonMarie method can be difficult for some but is a life-changing process. She wrote in "Spark Joy", don't stress on it too much. If you're stressed, take a break and remember, "don't worry, even if it fails - your home won't explode."

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